Catholic Feasts · Human Dignity · Pro-Life · Relationships

No Matter How Small

Loud voices echoed through the long hallway. A wail of agony heard from the front room where the congregation of residents gathered; laughter from another corner. She quickly darted across the room so as not to disturb their so-called peace. As she passed each wheelchair-bound person, she smiled and simply said, “Good morning”, ever so quietly.

She was on a mission. Her intention was to brighten the day of one smiley-faced woman in this stuffy old nursing home. Her heart was set on bringing her joy.

God always changes our plans though, doesn’t He?

As she strolled through the sea of elders, smiling, and saying quiet good mornings, she noticed something….almost all of them hungered for that meager interaction. Each week as she entered through the heavy steel door, one more wrinkled face would turn and notice it was her, and would smirk before she could offer her routine of smile and brief whisper of salutations.

She noticed them, and they desired that.

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One of my favorite pieces of writing is that of a children’s book. It’s not some hugely philosophical work that only a PhD-holder would understand. It is such a powerful sentence for all to comprehend…

“A person’s a person, no matter how small.” (Horton Hears a Who, Dr. Seuss).

This is the basis of the pro-life mindset. Every life counts, no matter who, how big or small, every human life is created by God almighty. Each life deserves the basic rights of human dignity and respect.

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As the woman patiently awaited to be guided in the direction of the smiley-faced woman’s location, she noticed someone. The beautiful, seasoned woman, sitting in her throne, continued to reach for something. She then saw it…a shoelace! The visitor had noticed this caramel colored beauty needed help tying her shoes. Amidst the pond of professional help, the insignificant woman was the lone soul to notice her dilemma. It reminded her of something she learned from St. Therese of Lisieux explaining how she felt like a little flower among the tall redwoods. The professionals work so very hard to provide basic needs and care, but they shouldn’t be expected to be perfect as none of us are…which is why we must work together to love one another. God likes to keep us on our toes and enjoys seeing us work as one bread, one body, and many parts (1 Corinthians 10:17). As her bare knees touches the cold, hard floor, she asked, “May I tie them for you, Ma’am?” A grin began to morph to an ear-to-ear smile as the elder replied, “Thank you so much, yes please. And can you tuck the laces in so I don’t have to worry about this again?”

When Charity is deeply rooted in the soul it shows itself exteriorly: there is so gracious a way of refusing what we cannot give, that the refusal pleases as much as the gift. ~ St. Therese of Lisieux Story of A Soul, Chapter IX.

The Holy Spirit moves us whether we like it or not; and when we desire it or not. We may want God to move us in one way or another…but it may not be time for God’s orchestration. We may pray for God to use us as His instrument but our timing is much different from His. Occasionally, we may get impatient, frustrated, irritable, or other feelings that lack virtue, as we await in what should be joyful hope for the coming of our Lord. Our Heavenly Father’s Tapestry will be completed when He chooses, not when we want it finalized.

This is where we make the choice.

We can choose to see Christ in others, or not. We can choose life or death. (Deuteronomy 30:19-20). Our power lies within our God-given will. How amazingly beautiful that our Creator would allow us the choice to love, don’t you think?!

Last week, we celebrated the feast of St. Teresa of Calcutta. A fascinating fact about this incredible woman is that she endured many years of spiritual dryness, yet continued to love God and her neighbor. She chose to see Christ in others, in fact, in the poorest of the poor. We can do that too. Every human being deserves to live, no matter how small.

All that late afternoon and far into the night that black-bottomed bird flapped his wings in fast flight, while Horton chased after, with groans, over stones that tattered his toenails and battered his bones, and begged, “Please don’t harm all my little folks, who have as much right to live as us bigger folks do!” (Horton Hears a Who, Dr. Seuss).

The quest is ours now. We may become battered and bruised if we accept. But it will be an epic feat if we should say yes to God.

Will you join me?

First challenge….visit a nursing home and volunteer to befriend someone. I promise you, it will change your life for the better to see a senior smile because you brightened their day.

 

 

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